Home prices in the Chicago area in 2018 looked a lot like the region’s landscape: flat.
The median price of a home sold in the nine-county metro area was unchanged during the year, according to data released Jan. 22 by Illinois Realtors.
Yet the picture has far more detail when viewed up close, at the level of individual Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs. This chart does that: breaks down the regional figure into local detail.
The map below covers all city neighborhoods and most suburbs in Cook, Lake, DuPage and Will counties. Crain’s prepared the map from data released last week by the Chicago Association of Realtors and Midwest Real Estate Data
Note that some of the largest price increases are found in moderate-income neighborhoods and suburbs, many of which are still going through the changeover from a market dominated by rock-bottom foreclosures to one where market-priced homes are the norm; the big increases reflect that change.
Suburbs are included only if they had 25 or more sales during the year. In the city, the data provider breaks sales down into two types, detached (houses) and attached (condos and townhouses); for each neighborhood, we have included data for either of these types only if there were at least 25 sales of that type during the year. Data are available only for Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties, and in those counties it’s not available for all towns. The color used in the map shows the price change for the type of home that had the most sales in that neighborhood.
The map tracks the year-over-year change in the median sale price in each location. The median sale price is the midpoint among sales of all amounts. It’s a widely used barometer of movement in home prices, but it’s not perfect.
If a larger-than-usual number of buyers purchased homes at the upper end of an area’s housing stock, the increase in the median would suggest a larger rise in home values than is accurate. The same would be true for the downward pull of numerous buys in the lower end.
That effect is clear in many of the neighborhoods and suburbs that show median price increases of 30 percent and more. In most of these cases, particularly on the South Side and in the south suburbs, the change reflects a shift from the majority of sales being bargain-priced foreclosures to the majority being market-priced sales. That shift exaggerates changes in the median price.